Monday, October 31, 2011

Jean Fritz goes to School

Jean Fritz, the 2-year-old Haitian living at Lifeline, began school last Thursday. He is in the preschool-A class at Lifeline's school.

 First day of school breakfast

Dropping him off has been a challenge the past few days, but he calms down eventually. Osmy’s 2-year-old daughter Doe is in his class as well, which is perfect because they are best friends! 

School gets out around noon and on Thursday we were watching for him to be released from class so we began checking around 11:30, but each time we looked the Lifeline yard was still silent. All the sudden around a quarter to noon, little Jean Fritz nonchalantly walked up the stairs and into the living room and started playing with a puzzle. The three of us (Adrian, Candice, and Michelle) starred out of disbelief for a brief second before we rushed to him and asked him how he got up here and how school was. After getting no answers from the 2-year-old (shocking), Adrian ran outside to see who brought him from his classroom down near the front gate all the way up to the second story of our living quarters. There was no one around. We eventually asked Osmy and Jacques and it turns out he walked himself home!! 
Since then, we have made sure to have someone down there around 11:30 so he doesn't have to walk home alone even though everyone here knows him and he is safe. 
Little Jean Fritz is growing up! 
First day of preschool! 
Posing for the camera. 

Friday, October 28, 2011

La Gonave Outreach

Lifeline took its first team (a team of doctors) to La Gonave Island, off the coast of Haiti, to hold a clinic at the mission of Pastors Benis and Dominique Guerrier.   The Guerriers are missionaries from Florida and have been living full time in Haiti since February.  They have already started a church, school and have more projects in the works.  

 The very early morning boat ride to La Gonave was exciting, watching the main island fade behind us and having no idea what to expect ahead.  A missionary captain steered us through the unusually choppy waters.

 We arrived two hours later-- all wet, some seasick-- but ready for the next leg of our adventure.  We loaded about twenty people and at least six crates of medical supplies on two small rusty trucks and two small SUVS and began the ascent to the tip top of the island to the town of Mapua.  The roads we took were more like donkey paths, boulder piles, and flood ponds but by the grace of God and our expert drivers we arrived at the Guerrier mission.  

 The children ended school early so that we could convert the school rooms into doctor's office's. We set up clinic right away and served over a hundred children and adults from the community.  

 Please continue to pray for Pastors Benis and Dominique Guerrier.  Benis grew up in this very village but lived his adult life in the US.  Years later, he felt called back as a missionary to his people.  He took his wife, a New York native, and their three children to move to Haiti full time last February.  They have done so much for their community already.  Lifeline has been helping provide Kids Against Hunger food to the village children and hopes to continue to find new ways to partner with the Guerrier's mission.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Lifeline School's New Toilets!

The construction is almost complete for the new toilets for Lifeline's school children.  The buildings were designed and overseen by Lifeline's directory, Osmy whose degree is in engineering.  They have multiple rooms for privacy and include an area for washing hands.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Back to School!

Lifeline school just started this week.  It was so exciting to see the yard full of children playing and eager to start class.  They look so proud in their clean new uniforms and shiny shoes.  The younger girls all wear socks with huge lace trims and have ribbons and barrettes in their braids and the older girls wear knee high socks and fancy shoes.  We waited until the little metal bell rings and they went in to each of their classes then we went with Osmy to each class (kinder-high school) passing out Skittles and taking pictures of the first day of class. 

Many of the children are sponsored by Lifeline and by many of you reading this blog.  I guarantee you the money is well spent and the children are so eager to learn and take part in their classes.  They have been waiting so long for school to start!  The Haitian government postponed the start of school more than a month because they decided to make more government schools.  As I write this, I can hear the kids out playing; it must be recess time.  When we ask the kids what their favorite subject is, they each have a different one but none of them say "lunch" or "recess" like most American kids.  I hope they hold on to their eagerness to learn and are able to finish school. 

Here are some pictures of the first day!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Candice & Michelle

Candice DeGeus from California and Michelle Welke from Iowa, both graduates of Biola University in LA just moved to Lifeline!  We will be living and working here for a few months.  Our time here is not definite because we are helping to start an orphanage in Barbanourt (Le Digue Mattieu’s neighbor village) on property donated by Osmy, Lifeline’s Haitian director.  The property borders the Lifeline school in Barbancourt and the buildings are almost finished!  We will keep you posted about the orphanage progress.  We are excited to be here with Adrian and Celissa to serve at Lifeline and already God has used us in ways we did not expect.  If you have visited, you know there is never a dull day at Lifeline; we never run out of opportunities to serve.

Last night we went to sleep to the sound of Haitian creole worship at the Lifeline church.  This morning we awoke to hear it continuing.  The church had an all night service and fasting.  What a blessing to know how fervently the people of our village are seeking the Lord.   Be encouraged in your prayers that the people of Le Digue are praying as well.   

Today our team of mothers just left.  They were such a blessing and it felt like they did more work for us than we could even do for them.  They were so helpful and kind and they handled every new situation with a great attitude and a willingness to serve.  We were sad to see them go but grateful to let them share their stories with their families and communities.  

Today Kitma, of the September 22 blog, returned to visit Lifeline with her four year old daughter, Myalin.  Please pray for her as she still struggles with the choice to quit selling her body.  We pray that she will learn to trust God to provide and allow us to help her.  She tested positive for TB so we are hoping to get her to a TB clinic soon.  We were able to provide her with school fees for her daughter and are getting her in the system to be sponsored. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

2011 Haiti Mission October 5th

We started the week not knowing exactly what God had in store. There were seven mothers on this team, and we left 15 children behind to GO!!! We wanted to be the hands and be the feet and show Gods love to the people of Haiti. It was a little intimidating at first, but God knew what we were here for.
Our first agenda was to give some supplies to the kids. Our children in Illinois collected coloring books, crayons, matchbox cars, and flip flops and made bracelets to give the children in Haiti. They wanted the kids to know that we hadn't forgotten about them and were still praying for them. We took a picture of our children with the bracelets so that they could see the children that had been and would be continuing to pray for them. The bracelets are a reminder to our children to pray for Haiti and a reminder to the Haitian children that our children would be praying for them.
We also went to several orphanages and schools to tell them about Jesus and show them love. The children were very appreciative. Some of the children had started school, and others will start real soon. We had two teachers on our team that could relate to the teachers in Haiti, but some of the conditions were hard to see. The comforting thing is you can tell the people in the schools care for the children and are working hard to get them the education they need. Lifeline has been a big help to the schools and orphanages. We have been impressed with all that Lifeline has done. We wanted to help everyone but it is so overwhelming because there is so much need.
Another way we got to help was to build some benches for school. We had no idea how to build benches, but we had several helpers, including children. So we got to use our mothering skills and let the children help with building the benches. We all learned together and worked as a team and got several benches done.
We have met so many wonderful people here. There are some really hardworking adults and kids.
We hope to come back next year and be used by God in Haiti. It was a wonderful experience that has helped us grow as Christians and mothers. We have been blessed in so many ways. We know God had a reason for us to be here. We hope we helped in some small way to show Christs' love to the people here in Haiti.